This blog frequently discusses the issue of employees working overtime without being paid the standard overtime rate (one and one half times their normal hourly rate). However, due to changing technology, the workplace of Americans has expanded so that there’s hardly a place left where they can’t (or don’t) check their work email or voicemail. Because of this expansion it is difficult for employers to track how much time their employees are spending on work while out of the office.
A study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Good Technology in the month of May, 2012, surveyed 1,000 US adults and found that, on average, Americans now work approximately seven hours of overtime each week – almost another full day of work. This is because, as their access to their job has increased with smartphones and tablets, many Americans feel obliged or compelled to continue checking in at work.
According to the poll, 60% of the respondents do it simply to stay organized, while almost half feel that they have no choice because they’re expected to reply quickly. Half of Americans report that they can’t even put their phone down after they go to bed. First thing in the morning, 68% say they check their work email before 8am and 50% check their work email while still in bed.
More than half of respondents said they check their work email while on family outings and 38% said they routinely check while at the dinner table. However, evidence points to changing attitudes towards this kind of work brought home because only one quarter of the respondents said that checking their work email at home leads to the occasional argument with their spouse. This suggests that it is becoming more socially acceptable to be always plugged in at work, no matter where you are or who you’re with.
Some people are arguing that this is a good thing. John Herrema, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy for mobile security software company Good Technology says that today’s “always on” mobile environment constant access to corporate email and apps is becoming a “must have” rather than a “nice to have” for almost all companies. While most companies believe that their employees do work more hours as a result of this new accessibility, they also appreciate the enhanced work-life balance that comes when employees have more freedom to get their work done whenever and wherever they want.
Despite the fact that many Americans are changing their attitudes towards working outside of the office, requiring employees to do so, without compensation, is illegal. The lawyers at Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience litigating wage and hour cases.
The attorneys at Chicago Overtime Law Center litigate wage and hour cases including overtime, vacation pay, meal breaks, and tips. Our offices are conveniently located in Oak Brook Terrace and Chicago, Illinois. Contact a Rockford wage and hour attorney today at 312-869-4095 or fill out our online form.